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How Do You Resolve an Encroachment on Real Estate?

| Mar 23, 2021 | Real Estate |

An encroachment usually involves a neighbor’s portion of their real property that extends over the boundary line onto his neighbor’s property. The encouragement could be from a roof overhang, a sidewalk, a part of the driveway or even pool equipment. Other examples may include: an overhanging gutter, a stretch of a fence line, or the wall of a building which belongs to a neighbor, that extends wholly or partially onto a property owned by another party. Encroachments often happen by accident. Many times, lot owners are unaware of the encroachment until a survey is created. Other times, property owners are unaware because they have surveys that are incorrect. Sometimes, the first time a property owner learns about the encroachment is when he wants to sale the property. It is finally revealed in a correct survey.  When encroachments exist, you may want your neighbor to correct the issue or to enter into an encroachment agreement so that your neighbor does not later claim adverse possession to the area of your property where the encroachment lays. Any party in an encroachment situation should consider protecting themselves from potential litigation.  As the party with the encroachment, you should avoid adverse possession. Is your neighbor trying to claim ownership of your property? There are different laws that involve several different timelines and requirements in order to establish an adverse possession claim.

An encroachment agreement is an agreement between the owners of the properties involved. Agreements usually identify the owners of the improvement and include a survey or a legal description identifying where the encroachment is located.

Encroachment agreements and easements are different. While they both involve the use of someone else’s land, they are not the same. Easements are often granted intentionally, but they can be granted unintentionally as well and permanently. Maybe you need an encroachment agreement. An encroachment agreement is the authorization and acknowledgement of an encroachment of a neighbor while an easement is an agreement between parties to gain access. An example of an easement is allowing a neighbor access to a roadway in order to get to a public road or utility. In order to avoid permanent easements or adverse possession, you may want to consider entering into a boundary lines agreement, easement agreement, or encroachment agreement. These are different types of agreements. In order to determine the one that is right for you, it is best to contact a board-certified real estate attorney that handles these types of matters.

If you believe that you may have to defend against adverse possession claim or would like to know more information about how to handle an encroachment, you are welcome to contact us and speak to a board-certified real estate attorney.

 

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